The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has announced that Adrian Arnakis will be its next Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. Arnakis brings to her new role more than 13 years of Senate experience where she established herself as a policy leader and trusted advisor on transportation and infrastructure issues. The longtime senior aide will join AAR in November, replacing Ian Jefferies as he transitions into his new role as the organization’s next president and CEO.
“Adrian’s command of rail issues and proven record of legislative accomplishments makes her the ideal voice to lead the industry’s government affairs efforts here in Washington,” said incoming AAR President and CEO Ian Jefferies. “At the Senate Commerce Committee, she built bipartisan consensus to advance commonsense, forward-looking policies like the 2015 FAST Act and the 2015 Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization. AAR and the rail industry will benefit immensely from her strategic guidance
Since 2016, Adrian Arnakis has served as the deputy staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation under Chairman John Thune (R-SD). In this role, Arnakis oversaw the operation of one of the Senate’s most productive, bipartisan committees, which during her tenure secured the enactment of more than fifty laws – most recently the 5-year FAA Reauthorization. Prior to this, Arnakis served as the committee’s counsel and policy director of surface transportation and oceans from 2013-2015 where she led the team that wrote, negotiated and secured enactment of the bipartisan Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Additionally, Arnakis served as a key aide on aviation issues for the Senate Commerce Committee as well as legislative counsel in Sen. Thune’s personal office.
Arnakis earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law. She lives in Virginia with her husband Robert and dachshund Victor.